After my world-wind spontaneous weekend in Atlanta a few weekends back, I thought I’d recap on why I have a soft spot for the ATL. I’ve been removed from the city for about 8 years but I’ve managed to go back a few times. It has been a long time since I’ve explored, tasted the food and stayed out till 2am.
Post college 2008, I decided to book a 1-way ticket and look for a job in Atlanta. I ended up getting a job at an Architectural- Engineering company. I stayed for about a year then headed back north. Sometimes I think what if I stayed? What would my life be like now? The location I worked at is now a construction site. High-rise apartments opening in 2017, so that was a surprise. The construction in this area has grown so much and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. I’m good with directions but I kept getting turned around because of the high-rise construction, urban layout and more cars than before.
I made my home for about a year at my aunt and uncle’s house. I reconnected with a few girlfriends after not seeing them for 12 years. I explored all the time, finding my way without turning the GPS on, as I stumbled upon some amazing homes and southern architecture. I think back now knowing how I’ve always loved residential homes, front doors and I would dream what people put inside them. I keep thinking about how growing up around residential construction has impacted my life professionally. As I grow in my career it seems to be taking me back full circle. Where it all began.
Back to my spontaneous trip, on Friday I landed early after taking a flight out after work. Thank you tailwind, flight time was just 157 mins, perfect timing to have tapas and drinks at Barcelona. It’s located off of Howell Mill, a revamped area with striking architecture, seamless exterior façade and beautiful landscaping. As we looked up from the valet line we could see elevated patios and high-rise apartments.
Barcelona was an experience. The staff, the food and the drinks where fantastic. The details did not go unnoticed on my end. We decided to head to Little Trouble and as I walked into the bar it was like hello NYC. I’ve missed your nightlife. Mind you I haven’t lived in the city, but I’ve had my fair share of fun there. But this was Atlanta with the coolest NYC vibe. I walked into a futuristic scene with neon lights.
Calm, not crowded, clean, and fancy cocktails drinks. It was 12am! I was impressed after I got comfortable at the bar. The bar wasn’t your typical high bar, it was low all around. It was a bit awkward as you felt like a tiny human surrounded by tall people. I’m tall; with some wedges I’m 5’11. You can guess my height! I didn’t entirely understand the reasoning for the height but it did help a lot when you think of sitting in a chair, reaching for the bartender’s attention and scoping out the scene. I decided to venture into the dark side and have myself a gin and tonic with some red peppers. The cocktail list didn’t say anything about the peppers as I about spit my drink out and the bartender had a laugh. I took the peppers out and continued to sip away. The flavor was so good.
On Saturday we took our adventure to Ponce Market, which I wrote about on the last blog post. We wandered around and explored the hand designed shops. West elm, Anthropologie and Lululemon. The outside market had tables perfectly placed so you knew what restaurant they belonged too. Some even had a series of red ropes, crates and their own separation to give it some creative design.
[ such an amazing before photo of the 2nd level at Ponce]
The tables and chairs were nestled in between large steel cross-bracing showing the incredible structural system. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to explore the roof deck garden that recently opened. We headed home for our own siesta, coffee and then a perfect manicure. In the evening we headed to Bartaco in west midtown. My first thought was a fast-food joint. Unbeknownst to me it was this Atlanta-meets-beach vibe-sunny-California bar.
The bar had bright white paint with white overhead glass doors that opened up into an outdoor patio. It had lots of low picnic tables, benches with fabric seats. Wicker lanterns hanging from the ceiling, crisp modern lighting and cork style bar stools. And the sangria was the best I’ve had.
My last day was spent with my family in the morning but decided to enjoy one last adventure to the Krog Market. Located along the beltline trail in Inman Park. I thoroughly enjoyed this market. It felt small, more intimate. A few pop-up food vendors and delicious ice cream to order. The home and gift store was amazing and I just kept snapping photos, reading books and getting completely inspired for the day I can have my own store. Along the perimeter of the market there where restaurants and the Krog Bridge to nowhere.
As I finish re-capping my world-wind weekend in Atlanta. I realized how much has changed not just building up but how we have started to incorporate the “one stop shop” attitude everywhere. Being able to explore, eat, drink, shop and relax all in one area within in your own time is awesome. As these areas keep growing I look forward to seeing how they grow even more. Until the next time ATL.
[main photo credit from restaurant website, additional photos are from internet and personal photos]
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